Leave Home for One Minute and . . .

Illahee Road near our house. This means our son’s bus ride to school has gone from 10 minutes to a half-hour.
Kitsap Sun photo by Larry Steagall.

On Wednesday we returned from a week’s vacation in sunny (mostly) Southern California to this.

While in San Diego at Legoland, my brother-in-law sent a picture to my cell phone of a car submerged in water. It was in Silverdale, and the water flow is the worst there when it rains heavily, so I thought perhaps we had a storm that was a little wetter than usual. Then I talked to him and it took me a while, but I eventually understood that the storm this region was getting was significantly bigger than normal. I made some calls to folks from church to make sure they were OK and to see if someone could come sweep some debris out of a couple of storm drains at our house, but one guy I talked to said he didn’t think he could make it. He lives about a 10-minute walk away, but it sounded to him like the road was out.

The picture here is what had happened.

Our house was fine. The water got a few inches deep in the driveway, but none went inside. We didn’t take the laptop with us on our trip, so I wasn’t checking my paper’s Web site for updates. We relied on phone calls and watched Nightline, surprised that rain in the Pacific Northwest merited a segment on the show.

It wasn’t until we got home that I really understood the strength of the storm. The road outage you see here means my son’s bus ride to school has gone from about 10 minutes to about 30 minutes. Not only was this road completely destroyed here, two others that beat a path to the school were partially damaged, enough to close them for a few months.

In short, this was a big deal.

On Friday before the storm we were at Disney’s California Adventure Park, the new amusement park next to the main park. It rained on us hard that day. We found out Disney stores could run out of ponchos. Across the way another store had them. My daughter and I went on the rides while my wife and sons went after less rapid amusements. It’s pouring rain on us and we decide to go on this river rapid ride. Because everything is so wet, there’s no waiting in what is the slow season anyway. We get around one time only partially soaked (thanks again to the ponchos) and we get asked if we want to go again. I say, “no,” but Sarah wants another round. It was a fun ride, so I agreed. We got a little wetter.

We then head to a couple more rides and get on the California Screamin’ roller coaster, which is probably the best roller coaster I’ve ever ridden. (I don’t get out much.) Again, the rain is so constant that there’s no waiting for any rides. We get off the first time and walk around to get on again. After that I tell Sarah, “I think I’ve got one more in me,” and we get in line again, holding out for the front seat. (That meant waiting behind one set of people.) The last ride was great again, but as the cars begin coasting into the end point, my stomach tells me the last ride may have been one too many. I manage to get off the ride but linger back a bit to let everyone else get ahead. When everyone’s out of sight I lean over a railing in case I need to deposit my breakfast. I’m grateful I didn’t, though I came close.

We went on one more ride before deciding we’d had enough after only three hours. My wife and sons were ready to go, too. (Heck, our youngest is nine months old and will basically do whatever we tell him.)

We were cold and wet, which at Disneyland counts as suffering.

Nothing like coming home, however, to bring on the dreaded disease — perspective.